Why the hell are there so many Ruperts in historical flicks? If your name is Rupert, are you contractually obligated to be in costume dramas or something? Also, for a name that is SO not considered sexy, a hell of a lot of Ruperts are actually REALLY sexy… So while these questions will likely never be answered, I think we should celebrate the Ruperts of Costume Flicks*.
Rupert Friend is probably best known to our audiences as Prince Albert in Young Victoria (2009), a.k.a. the Prince Albert who wasn’t a total mouth-breathing douche-bag.
In 2009, Rupert co-starred against Michelle Pfeiffer in Cheri as the eponymous boy-toy of a retired courtesan.
And say what you will about the 2005 Pride & Prejudice (and believe me, we’ve said a lot), I wouldn’t kick his Mr. Wickham out of bed for damn sure.
In his earliest historical film role, he played the pretty-but-doomed Billy Downs in The Libertine (2004).
Fans of Game of Thrones know Rupert Vansittart as Yohne Ryce, but he’s been in a bunch of historical films over the years. Among them, doing his best John Cleese impersonation in Braveheart (1995) as Lord Bottoms:
He’s also the rape-y Mr. Wattlesbrook in Austenland (2013):
And most recently, he’s Throckmorton in Versailles (2016-):
In World Without End (2012), the sequel to Pillars of the Earth, Rupert Evans plays the ambitious Godwyn in the worst wig ever:
But before that, he was the duplicitous Richard “Gentleman” Rivers in Fingersmith (2005):
And Frank Churchill in Emma (2009).
Seriously, you think I was going to leave out Ron Weasley? You clearly don’t know me very well. While Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire isn’t technically historical, the costume that poor ‘ol Ron is forced to wear to the Yule Ball qualifies as something that was probably best left to the mists of time:
As Thomas Hamilton, Rupert Penry-Jones made quite a splash in Black Sails (2015-17) as the love-interest of the show’s main character, Captain Flint:
He was also Captain Wentworth in the BBC adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion (2007):
And in 2003, he was Donald Maclean in the BBC2 miniseries Cambridge Spies:
It’s a travesty of historical inaccuracies, but Rupert Young was Lord Thomas Stanley in The White Queen (2013):
And Sir Leon in Merlin (2015), which kind-of-sorta-maybe is historical…ish:
- Yes, I know, this is not an exhaustive list of all the Ruperts in film. These are just the ones I could reliably find photos of online and who weren’t playing, say, Farmer #1.
Do you have a favorite Rupert in historical costume movies and TV?